Updated: Nov 17, 2022
I was a young guy trying to make a difference in people's lives by leading with passion.
I wanted to be able to leave a legacy by becoming one of those big personality leaders that capture your attention whenever they're in the room.
The thing is I was struggling with some people I was leading. That meant I wasn't having an impact on the people in my team like I wanted to.
To make things worse, I felt terrible because I felt like I was just banging my head against a wall trying to be this big personality leader.
I felt like a failure because of all the people issues I was experiencing in my team.
The problem was that after a couple of years of this I was sick of the frustration but I'd tried everything I knew to do and had run out of ideas.
Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened...
That's when I had a coaching session with my leader who asked me a life-changing question,
"Are you sure you're the people person you think you are?"
I had no answer.
I'd simply never considered that possibility.
It didn't sink in straight away (I hate to admit!). But as I sat on that question over time, I learned you DON'T become the leader you're meant to be by trying to be someone else.
You need to embrace who you are and lead from that place.
My plan was to let go of the big personality dream and try to work out who I really was.
So I started getting comfortable being a gentle, calm and softly spoken leader.
I would present gently from the stage and just be myself with my team.
But there was still a problem...
Some people still expected me to try to be the 'big personality' and didn't... get it.
I also learned the hard way there were some things I was doing that weren't a fit for me at all.
I ended up getting so frustrated with some of the things I was doing that I stopped doing them altogether.
But that opened up new opportunities for me to embrace things I CAN do really well.
I thought if that coaching session helped me see such a big blind spot, maybe I could create something that would make it possible for other leaders to have a similar experience?
After coaching leaders around the world, I've now had the opportunity to be on the other side of the epiphany for so many leaders on so many different topics.
More importantly, those leaders have gone on to use their learnings from our coaching sessions to become better leaders, take their teams to the next level and transform their organisations.
After realising who I'm called to be, I've not only been able to let go of some ideas and things that weren't helpful, I’ve also been able to find a lifestyle as a leader where I enjoy what I'm doing everyday and know I'm leaving the best legacy possible.
And in the end, all of this means I’m now able to help a lot more people achieve their own dream of leaving a legacy by investing in the people they lead and changing the world.
Do you feel lonely as a leader? Do you wish there was someone you could just say 'anything and everything' to (other than your spouse!)? Do you feel stuck about what to do next and wish there was a way to feel clearer about the problems you're facing as a leader?
You CAN become the leader you're meant to be. You CAN build a high-performance team. You CAN grow your organisation to impact more people's lives.